A small Nova Scotia town with a rich history of industry is in the midst of celebrating the centennial anniversary of its’ incorporation. Trenton is adjacent to my birth town of New Glasgow. For a few people on both sides of my family, Trenton is and always will be their hometown.
Trenton is host to a coal-fired generating station run by Emera subsidiary Nova Scotia Power. At one time, Trenton was also home to a paint manufacturing plant and a glass production company. In 2010, the closed steel-making TrentonWorks facility began a gradual renovation to allow the manufacturing of green energy components. This would be in partnership with the provincial and federal governments and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (“DSME”). When the TrentonWorks facility closed in 2007 a handful of pessimists figured the place was done for good and a buyer would never be located. The Forge portion of the plant was sold in 2004 to Houston Texas-based Forged Products Incorporated and continued operation when the remainder of TrentonWorks closed.
The deal to bring DSME into Trenton was a hard-fought battle, where bureaucrats and citizens fought to return long-term jobs back. Trenton and all of Pictou County has for generations viewed industry as a key component of economic survival.
My family connections to Trenton run significantly. For many years my Grandfather ran the Trenton Airport. My Dad and one of my Uncles are both retired from the Nova Scotia Power generating plant. I still have another Uncle who is working there. At one point my Grandparents on both sides lived in the town. My parents and most of their siblings graduated from Trenton High School. I have a 2nd cousin who served as mayor of Trenton. Her husband currently sits on town council.
My brother and a cousin are also proud alumni members of the Trenton minor hockey program. Over a year ago I had the chance to walk the ice surface of the rink for the first time in over 15 years. It was a surreal experience to be walking the surface at midnight, only lighting was the electronic scoreboard.
Trenton is also home to my favourite pizza. Anyone who has had Sam’s Trenton Pizza knows just how addictive and delish their stuff is. It was the first take-out pizza I ever would eat and is still the best. I have travelled the country and eaten at some of the finest pizza places. Yet no one, can come close to making the kind of pizza like the creations at Sam’s.
Cornish’s Variety Store, the sprawling peace and quiet of Steeltown Park, the streets, the people. Trenton is all good. Saturday August 20 is the start of a big major party marking this 100th incorporation anniversary. From my wife and I both, we wish we could be there.
Several years ago I met a colleague who upon hearing that I was from the Pictou County area, remarked “We once drove through Trenton, exactly where is Ivy’s Wall and why is in on the town’s welcome sign?”. I replied that you would just have to ask around and someone would have told you the story and location.
I am going to make one suggestion to town council and residents. Come this winter why not host a winter event that could become to unique to the town. Let’s flood Caroline Street and turn it into a ski jump. Person who lands farthest onto the DSME property gets to clear out the liquor store’s inventory of beer.
Surely you could find sponsors…..